Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Evening

Can you believe I am still sore after our sheep shearing workout?

Today was Thursday and that means Catawba Farmer's Market. Got up early to begin the baking. The mill was giving me trouble. Last year I was making cornbread mix, milling the corn after I finished all the bread flour milling. I never had any trouble with the motor or the stones getting gummed up.

This year I have not found a source of non-GMO corn to mill and don't want to compromise. Consequently we have had no cornbread mix for months. And the mill has been giving me trouble since the hot humid weather set in.

I try to coarsely grind the wheat after I am done to clean the stones. Even so, the mechanism has been straining and pulling and constantly throwing the breaker. This morning I called the manufacturer and they confirmed what I had deduced, that the humidity is causing the wheat to hold more moisture and that it is clogging the mill. That using corn would clean the stones. I need to use at least 5 or 10 lbs to grind off the residue. That putting the 50 lb bags of wheat and spelt in the freezer prior to milling would reduce some of the moisture.


That was great information, but I received it about an hour too late. The motor burned out due to the extra stress. I continued to work on the flour I had already milled and made an extra large batch of granola. At least 12 quarts or so. Kathryn washed more big bowls than she has probably seen in her lifetime. Rebecca came over for a visit and ended up drying. The boys came up from the creek out of breath.

They held something in their arms. I thought it was a dead chicken.

"A hawk! A red-tailed hawk!" they cried. They found the hawk lying dead in the stream next to a dead snake. Next to the hawk was a wounded screech owl. They got the tarp from the tent (where they are camping out for the week) and carefully, very carefully, moved the wounded fowl to a stump to dry off. After running up to share this news with us, and running back down, the owl disappeared. Apparently it recovered quickly once its feathers dried.

A mystery.

Did the hawk hunt the snake? Did the owl try to fight the hawk for the snake?

We may never know.

But it certainly livened up the morning!

Dutch Valley orders were picked up. I asked my friends to pray for our mill to be fixed. Bread was baked. More dishes washed. Cow share holders came by to pick up milk. Once of them deals in motors and took apart the mill and is going to work on ordering me a new one at cost. Should be back in business next week.

But now I have an enforced rest. Will spend some time tomorrow doing stacks of paperwork. At least that is my plan.

But the first order of business is to sleep in past 6am. And to make sure and enjoy a couple of cups of coffee with Kathryn. And share a late breakfast after milking.


We had a couple of thunderstorms this evening during market, but they passed very quickly. It is hot and sticky. We hope for more rain.

Crickets and other loud night noises are a pleasant serenade. I think I would be much cooler if I were to sleep outside. But I don't think I want to offer myself up as a sacrifice to the mighty mosquito. Maybe I better find a mosquito net for the month of August, which is nigh upon us.

1 comment:

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

That IS a mystery about the snake, hawk and owl. Who knows what goes on out there when we're not looking? War?

Is there air conditioning in that room where the machine is? Maybe that would help during real humid periods?